There are two types of people in this world.
Those who clean up their dog’s poop. And, well, those who do not.
It’s something that can spark outrage and it’s understandable why. It’s messy, it smells and if you’ve ever stepped in it... well, need we say more.
Earlier this week, a public service announcement spotted in Yaletown took a different approach to the ongoing issue.
“Want to start YOGA?
“Start by picking up your DOG’S poop!!!!
“Known as the downward dog position. Put it all in a bag and take it with you.”
The sign writer also took the chance to call out smokers too: “Pick up your butts and take them with you!!”
The person who put up the sign isn’t the only one raising a stink. Other Vancouverites are complaining too.
The City of Vancouver’s Solid Waste staff have received 148 complaints about dog waste in the first half of 2018, and they say that number could almost double by the end of the year.
“In 2017, we received 163 complaints. If the trend continues, we anticipate we will receive around 300 complaints this year,” says Michelle Harris, senior engineer of solid waste programs.
So, where are the complaints coming from?
Currently the data isn’t broken down into suburbs but, roughly, about 32 per cent of the complaints are for dog waste in parks, 43 per cent for sidewalks, 15 per cent on private property and the rest are for other areas such as streets and lanes.
You may remember that the City launched a dog waste collection pilot in 2016.
“We currently have dog waste collection bins in five parks John Hendry, Charleson, Grimmett, Hinge, and Emery Barnes, and plan to add a couple more parks later this fall,” says Harris.
A lot of people are getting the idea and are using the red dog carts in the parks. About 14,800kg of dog waste has been diverted from landfill from the program launch in May 2016 to the end of March 2018. That’s a lot of poop.
The city doesn’t want dog waste to go to the landfill because it creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.
“Pet waste should be bagged before being placed in a red dog waste cart (currently available in seven city parks) or double bagged before being placed in the garbage,” says Harris.
“The most important thing is for pet owners to clean up after their dogs and not leave waste in parks, green spaces, or on the street.”
So, to limit the amount of dog waste going to the landfill they encourage dog owners to consider these options:
- Flush it, unbagged. Do not flush any bags. The bags will clog your plumbing or the city sewer.
- Call a collection service. Search the web under "dog waste collection."
If you are the type to leave your dog’s droppings behind, remember, if you’re caught, you’ll have to pay up.
Under the Animal Control Bylaw 9150, the minimum fine for not picking up after your dog is $250.